When one reviews the American landscape on life, especially as a growing number of states affirm the wickedness of abortion and others celebrate and codify it, the opening line of the Charles Dickens classic, A Tale of Two Cities, comes to mind:
“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way – in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.”
We begin with a tale of two states:
- New Jersey Codifies Abortion Access into Law, Oklahoma Bill Would Ban Abortions
From The Daily Citizen:
The U.S. Supreme Court is currently deliberating whether to roll back Roe v. Wade, and thereby grant states greater latitude to regulate or prohibit abortion. Because of this, there has been an increased focus on state abortion laws.
Over the past couple of years, left-leaning states have enacted legislation that legalizes abortion longer during a woman’s pregnancy, while also making abortion more accessible. On the other hand, pro-life state legislators have been hard at work passing bills to protect preborn life.
In 2021, various states passed a record 106 pieces of new pro-life legislation. The previous record was set in 2011, when states passed 89 pro-life bills in one year.
This week, the New Jersey legislature passed the Freedom of Reproductive Choice Act (S49) by a 46 to 22 vote in the New Jersey General Assembly, and a 23 to 15 vote in the New Jersey state Senate.
Meanwhile, Oklahoma is considering legislation that would ban all abortions in the state. The proposed bill will be modeled after the Texas Heartbeat Bill, which successfully prohibited pre-viability abortions after six weeks gestation for the first time since Roe v. Wade was decided in 1973. The Texas bill is estimated to have already saved thousands of preborn babies from abortion.
Oklahoma State Rep. Sean Roberts will introduce the bill before January 20.
RELATED: Standing against abortion at Baylor
From World Magazine:
Before music education major David Folks decided to attend Baylor University in Waco, Texas, for his undergraduate degree, several things attracted him to the school. One was his respect for the music faculty. Another was the school’s proximity to his hometown, Dallas. But what pushed him over the edge was the Baptist school’s expressed commitment to Christianity. On its website, Baylor describes itself as one of the few institutions of higher education that continues to embrace its Christian heritage. The school’s mission statement cites “the person and work of Jesus Christ” and “the biblical record” as foundational to its “understanding of God, humanity and nature.”
Now a junior and president of the campus pro-life club Bears for Life, Folks is frustrated by what he calls his school’s lack of clarity on life issues.
In 2020 and 2021, Folks and other pro-life students found Planned Parenthood–related materials on Baylor’s campus. Upon request, the staff at the health center sent Folks a handout that listed Planned Parenthood as a “[sexually transmitted infection] testing resource.” Staff told Folks in an email that “we only send people to PP if they need STI screening services or low-cost birth control.” A 2006-2007 handbook named the Planned Parenthood Teen Education Program as an internship site. Over summer 2021, a Students for Life staff person told Folks about a Planned Parenthood job opening for a “Community Health Educator” listed on the Baylor School of Social Work’s website. And in the fall semester, two pro-life students texted Folks pictures of a class textbook that called abortion “safer than childbirth.” Folks believes those links to Planned Parenthood, the most well-known U.S. abortion provider, show that “there’s not clarity on what Baylor stands for as a Christian university with respect to the sanctity of life.
He and other pro-life students fear that’s having an effect on young Baylor women. Folks and about six other students participate in a rotation of sidewalk counseling outside of the nearby Planned Parenthood, a 15-minute drive from campus. They have noticed Baylor students visiting the facility. “I see Baylor cars go in there all the time,” he said. “I see sorority stickers.”
- U.S. Air Force and Navy Adopt Trendy and Distracting Woke Policies
From The Daily Citizen:
Every branch of the United States’ military exists for one reason: to always be mission ready to defend the safety, strength, and freedom of our great nation. It is certainly not to be trendy and help people feel good about their own individual expression. Concerns with such things are hinderances to the constant mission readiness of our military because they are dangerously distracting.
The United States Air Force (USAF) has unfortunately caved to such fashionable distractions by allowing personnel to use grammatically challenged pronoun announcements in their official email signature blocks, as if determining whether you are serving alongside a man or woman has ever been an actual problem to anyone. According to Stars and Stripes, a major source for American military news, the Air Force has newly created the “Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer/Questioning Initiative Team” to “identify and work to resolve issues that impede the success of LGBTQ airmen and Guardians, according to the Air Force”.
This team has persuaded the Air Force to authorize and encourage the use of creative gender pronouns in service members’ official email correspondence. It is not clear if such fashionable designations will eventually be presented on uniform name tags. Do not be surprised if that happens. The USAF directive explains.
- 57% of Democrats Want Facebook, Twitter to Censor Posts to ‘Make Sure Some People Are Not Offended’
From CNS News:
While a slim majority of Americans still want social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter to allow unrestricted free speech on their platforms, a solid majority of Democrats want the platforms to regulate content that might offend “some people,” a new survey by Rasmussen Reports finds.
The national survey of 1,000 American adults, conducted January 4-5, 2022, asked the following question:
“Which is better – for the owners of social media like Facebook and Twitter to regulate what is posted to make sure some people are not offended or to allow free speech without interference.”
The 51% of Americans today who say the social media platforms should allow “free speech without interference” is down from the 61% who felt that way in January of 2018, Rasmussen notes. Those who want content regulated so as not to offend some people has risen from 26% to 35% over that same time period. Others are “not sure.”
Among Democrats, the desire to ban potentially offensive content has more than doubled, from 25% in January of 2018 to 57% today. Americans who identify as neither Democrat nor Republican favor free speech over censorship by a margin of 54% to 26%, with 20% unsure.
4. Chicago Teachers Union House of Delegates Agrees to Reopen Schools
From The Daily Citizen:
The Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) House of Delegates voted to end a work shutdown and return to classes on Wednesday, January 11. The proposal still needs to be voted on by union members, sometime this week.
Of the 25,000 CTU members, 73% voted last week “to refuse orders to work in person, opting for remote work only,” as we reported in The Daily Citizen.
According to the Chicago Tribune, the plan approved by the CTU House of Delegates “will set conditions by which an individual school would return to remote learning, determined by the rate of staff absences and students in quarantine or isolation, as well as whether it’s during a period of high community COVID-19 transmission, where a lower threshold would apply.”
Meaning local schools could again close if they have a high rate of COVID infections.
- What is the Great Reset?
From Hillsdale College’s Imprimis:
Is the Great Reset a conspiracy theory imagining a vast left-wing plot to establish a totalitarian one-world government? No. Despite the fact that some people may have spun conspiracy theories based on it—with some reason, as we will see—the Great Reset is real.
The specific phrase “Great Reset” came into general circulation over a decade ago, with the publication of a 2010 book, The Great Reset, by American urban studies scholar Richard Florida. Written in the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis, Florida’s book argued that the 2008 economic crash was the latest in a series of Great Resets—including the Long Depression of the 1870s and the Great Depression of the 1930s—which he defined as periods of paradigm-shifting systemic innovation.
The Great Reset aims to usher in a bewildering economic amalgam—Schwab’s stakeholder capitalism—which I have called “corporate socialism” and Italian philosopher Giorgio Agamben has called “communist capitalism.”
Because the goals of the Great Reset depend on the obliteration not only of free markets, but of individual liberty and free will, it is, perhaps ironically, unsustainable. Like earlier attempts at totalitarianism, the Great Reset is doomed to ultimate failure. That doesn’t mean, however, that it won’t, again like those earlier attempts, leave a lot of destruction in its wake—which is all the more reason to oppose it now and with all our might.
6. A parenting expert shares the 5 toxic mistakes that can make kids more ‘selfish and entitled’
Studies show that by age three, children begin to show genuine compassion and empathy, and are able to understand that their feelings and experiences can be different from those of others.
- Saying yes to almost everything
- Failing to create teaching opportunities
- Not addressing what’s happening in the world
- Give them everything without enforcing gratitude.
- Not introducing them to volunteer work.
- Sports Betting Headed for Record Month
New York launched mobile sports betting on Saturday, with four online sportsbooks beginning operations and another five awaiting final approval.
The big picture: Now that New Yorkers can bet from their couch — rather than travel to New Jersey — many believe the Empire State will eventually contend with New Jersey and Nevada for most money wagered by state (currently 17th).
In-person and mobile (15 plus D.C.): Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, the District of Columbia, West Virginia, Wyoming
In-person only (12): Arkansas, Delaware, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, Montana, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, South Dakota, Washington, Wisconsin
Mobile only (3): New Hampshire (in-person will launch soon), Tennessee, Virginia
Legal, not yet operational (3): Florida, Nebraska, Ohio
What to watch: It’s no coincidence this launch came just before the NFL playoffs and CFP Championship. The next month will almost certainly break the record for money wagered on sports nationwide.
- Less than 10% of evangelicals want shorter sermons; 30% want more in-depth teaching: survey
From the Christian Post:
Fewer than 10% of evangelical Protestants want to have shorter sermons during worship, while nearly a third want more in-depth teaching, according to recently released survey data.
Grey Matter Research and Infinity Concepts released a new report last Friday titled “The Congregational Scorecard: What Evangelicals Want in a Church.” \
The researchers surveyed 1,000 American evangelical Protestants, asking for their views on 14 different elements about the churches they attend for worship.
According to the report, a copy of which was emailed to The Christian Post on Monday, only 7% of respondents want sermons to be shorter, while 85% believe the sermon lengths are acceptable as they are. About 8% percent said they wanted sermons to be longer.
These trends were fairly consistent across generations, as 10% of evangelicals under the age of 40 preferred shorter sermons, while 11% over the age of 70 responded the same.
Evangelical respondents between the ages of 40 and 54 were the least likely to want shorter sermons, with 3% agreeing with this idea. Respondents between the ages of 55 and 69 were the most likely (88%) to believe sermon lengths were fine as they are.
9. Americans Reading Fewer Books Than in Past
Americans say they read an average of 12.6 books during the past year, a smaller number than Gallup has measured in any prior survey dating back to 1990. U.S. adults are reading roughly two or three fewer books per year than they did between 2001 and 2016.
The decline in book reading is mostly a function of how many books readers are reading, as opposed to fewer Americans reading any books. The 17% of U.S. adults who say they did not read any books in the past year is similar to the 16% to 18% measured in 2002 to 2016 surveys, though it is higher than in the 1999 to 2001 polls.
The drop is fueled by a decline in the percentage of Americans reading more than 10 books in the past year. Currently, 27% report that they read more than 10 books, down eight percentage points since 2016 and lower than every prior measure by at least four points.
10. ‘I Pray Every Day for the Lord to Use me’: Video About FedEx Driver Praying with Grieving Woman Still Going Viral
It all started when Riggan said she stopped at a woman’s home to deliver a package, then the two began talking about the recent Christmas and New Year’s holidays.
“We start walking up the driveway together and she asked me if I had a happy holidays,” she said. “I was telling her how busy it was. I asked her the same and with tears in her eyes she said, ‘It wasn’t good. He’s sick. My husband’s sick, he has cancer.’ I continued small talk to try and change the subject because that’s awkward and I delivered her package.”
Riggan explained that after completing the delivery, her heart started pounding but she continued to make the rest of her deliveries. After about 20 stops, she drove back to see the grief-stricken woman.
“I rang her doorbell and she came down the stairs and she had tears in her eyes,” Riggan noted. “When she saw it was me she smiled and I said, ‘Ma’am, can I pray with you? And she just broke down. She came out on the front porch and squeezed me so tight. This lady I’ve never met … she held my hand so tight. I prayed for her and her family and for her husband.”
She continued, “The point of this is that a lot of people want the Lord to use them. For me as an example, I pray everyday for the Lord to use me. But when He’s trying to use you or when you feel that call, that tug on your heartstrings, do you move your feet?”
Riggan pointed out that it was more important to be a blessing to someone in need rather than continue on her normal route. She added that God is always looking for ways to use us to do His work and encouraged people to accept His call.
Photo from Shutterstock.